Equal rights policy should pass
As a university, we claim to support diversity and equal opportunity for all students regardless of background.’
The University of Houston’s non-discrimination statement currently covers race, gender, and sexual orientation among other categories. However, it does not protect its students, faculty or staff on the basis of their gender identity.’
This means that any person who attends or works at our university can be fired, kicked out or refused work because that person is transgender.
The campus as a whole has shown repeated commitment to the issue of diversity.
‘ We have also called on the administration to update the campus policy to protect all people who are a part of our campus community.
The movement to update university policy began in spring 2008 when the Student Government Association passed a bill requesting that the phrase ‘gender identity or expression’ be added to our non-discrimination statement. The vote was unanimous after a strong showing of student support.’
The Faculty Senate and Staff Council then followed suit and voted to support the resolution as well. Yet, one year later, the administration has to even consider the proposal.
In the final meeting of the 45th SGA, there was a new bill urging the administration to take action on the previous proposal.’
The legislation’s author, Senator Josephine Tittsworth of the Graduate School of Social Work said, ‘It’s sad that we have to get to the point where we have to readdress this issue when the membership of the campus has said we want this already. We have followed every proper procedure and it’s sad the administration wants to maintain the ability to discriminate.”
Her view ultimately prevailed on the senate floor Wednesday when the SGA voted unanimously, yet again, urging the administration to take action on the legislation.
When asked how she hoped to move forward after the legislation, Tittsworth said, ‘We hope the administration would be willing to sit down with us and share their reservations.’
‘ Because of overwhelming support two years in a row, it would be easy to suppose the university administration would be willing to discuss the issue if for no other reason than the obvious and overwhelming support of the student, staff and faculty.’
Already hundreds of universities across our nation have this policy in place, including the University of Texas at Austin and Rice University. By putting this policy into place, the campus would continue to remain competitive in the process of recruiting the best and brightest students and the most qualified staff and faculty.’
To continue to ignore the legislation would be offensive to the University population and disrespectful at best. No member of our campus should have to suffer discrimination and by not signing onto this policy, the administration allows this injustice to continue.